25 September 2009

Waterlilies, centuries

LVB9 - 9th >< 10th Symphony

LVB9 (inspired by Beethoven's 9th symphony, Op 125)
Mixed media on two doors and black stretched woollen textile
with internal lighting, sound-responsive LEDs, & CD-collage

See several posts below for view of entire work

This post briefly discusses CD collage arrangement

Beethoven's Ninth symphony was so influential upon many later composers that some even feared nearing their own ninth symphonies. The ninth was, after all, Beethoven's final symphony and final major work. Moreover, several other composers had also only reached nine symphonies. This led to an apprehension amongst some composers when their own symphony tally drew near to nine. Some even purposely stopped before getting there.

The concept of the (allegedly) "square number" 9 relates directly to my theory work in PON (Principles of Nature). In this painting (and in consideration of the above-mentioned fear of some composers) I had the idea of jumping the hurdle and visually showing an 'equivalence' between 9 and 10. It sounds crazy, right? Like the idea that the Earth goes around the Sun. Not everything that seems illogical (at first sight) is necessarily so. 'Counting' is not restricted to one method. I show a simple example here in this painting of two consistent ways of counting using the same symmetrical form: an equilateral triangle of side length 3x3.

The upper diagrams shows that if you count the internal self-similar spaces you get 9. The lower diagram shows that by counting the node-points you get 10. (In the painting i positioned the CDs at the node points creating a triangular grid of 10 CDs) Yet there remains the (now more covert) grid of in-between spaces (3X3 or 9 equilateral triangles). This creates a 910 resonance or a '910 equivalence principle' that i wanted to embed prominently within, and communicate via, the painting. [Why I chose CDs here is not hard to guess. But what their spectral diffraction-gratings hold sonically may be harder.. ]

[See posts below for further info and/or for full view of art.]

LVB9 - CDs in equilateral triangular arrangement (WIP)

LVB9 (see several posts below for full view of final artwork)
Inspired by the 9th symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven
The CDs (shown here in WIP-view 1) show a 3x3 (spatial) grid/tessellation of CDs formed by a total of 10 CDs.
This I decided to position in the top R-hand corner of the R-panel.

The blog post above presents some interesting history surrounding the number "9".

[These CDs were later 'distressed' and modulated. Ref other images in posts below]

23 September 2009

LVB9 (CD collage, detail, region 2)

LVB9 - CD collage (detail) from top right corner of right-hand door panel
(see 2 posts below for view of entire installation)
Inspired by the 9th symphony of Beethoven

"LVB9" (close-ups of CD collage area)

LVB9 (close-ups of CD collage area) R-upper, R-door panel.
See Post below for entire LVB9 work & commentary.
Inspired by Beethoven's 9th symphony


LVB9 © 2009 Wayne Roberts, 242 cm (w) x 204 cm (h) x 172 cm (d)
3-D work on two doors and black woollen stretched textile.
Two Doors: Mixed media: CD-collage, oxides, detritus, mixed aqueous paints, acrylic media, water, inks, applied with aged implements. Intaglio lineation. Black woollen textile on stretcher frame with titanium, internal lighting.
10 CDs in triangular formation (top right). This area has embedded stereo-sound-responsive Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
Inspired by:
Ludwig van Beethoven's final symphony, The Ninth.

The 9th symphony of Beethoven is arguably one of the greatest symphonies ever written.
Most will know Beethoven was completely deaf when he composed this monumental work.
That he was a genius is unquestionable, and it could almost be said, he virtually 'owned' the genre of the symphony (at least in the Classical and embryonic Romantic Periods). It's remarkable that four, maybe five, of his nine symphonies are among the most loved symphonies even to this day.

The 9th was without doubt a pivotal work. A landmark piece in the history of music. Many composers who followed were inspired or influenced by it. It was even influential in determining the diameter of CDs at 12cm in the early 1980s. (At that time, it was decided that a CD should be able to fit an entire performance of Beethoven's 9th on a single CD. The longest recording of Beethoven's 9th was found (an old mono, approx 78mins), and that became the benchmark, hence 12cm. [The story has some interesting twists and turns, but that's the gist of it.]

The earlier movements, often with passages of agitation, seem to reflect his battle against the deafness that had gradually and relentlessly overtaken him. The last movement is in stark contrast to the earlier ones. In the final movement, he ever so serenely introduces the main theme of the final movement, via an unornamented beautiful melody, on strings and subdued orchestra. This theme builds rather steeply (and dramatically) to usher in the finale, including parts for four vocal soloists, and large choir. (It is the first symphony to employ the human voice as a virtual instrument.)

Beethoven couldn't conduct the premiere of his Symphony No 9 (May 7, 1824) due to his profound deafness. Yet he was by the conductor's side following the score, and reportedly quite animated. Story has it that he was a couple of bars behind when the work ended to rapturous applause and ovations. The deaf Beethoven had to be physically turned around by one of the vocal soloists so that he could "see" the applause. He received fully five standing ovations (which was considered disrespectful of the royals, because only royalty were deemed worthy enough of receiving up to a maximum of three ovations.) Beethoven eventually left the hall after the tumultuous reception, and was reportedly deeply overcome with emotion.

Ludwig van Beethoven died during a thunderstorm on 26 March 1827. "His friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who was present at the time, claimed that there was a peal of thunder at the moment of death" (Wikipedia).

22 September 2009